#90 November 1995
Section 126.96.36.199.090.of the Artemis Data Book
by Ben Huset
November '95 Edition: The C.I.S. manned space station Mir with Mir-20 (call sign 'Uran') Cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko, Sergei Avdeyev and Thomas (DF4TR / DP0MIR) Reiter will be appearing in the midwest evening skies Oct. 15th to Nov. 6th, '95, returning to morning skies Nov. 19th to Dec. 6th.
Amateur radio operators can log into the Mir 'Packet' (R0MIR-1) BBS on 145.550MHz simplex or 435.775MHz uplink / 437.775 downlink MHz. The cosmonauts also use the freq. 145.200MHz up, 145.800MHz down or 435.725MHz up, 437.925MHz down or 145.550Mhz simplex to talk with amateur radio operators on the ground during their off-hours.
For exact times and locations to see the space station over your backyard call MN MIRWATCH Coordinator Ben Huset at (612) 639-9109.
"It's hard to find words for this incredible view. I mean - it's like ... it's indescribable. We are in the moment over the ocean. The view is magnificent. The station is oriented now perpendicular to the Earth's surface.
"The first EVA of an [European Space Agency] ESA Astronaut falls together nicely with the Ministerial Conference. It is an excellent sign for the future and I really hope, in the middle of Earth and Sky, that lots of European Astronauts will follow to lead to our participation in the International Space Station Program.
"Many greetings from here."
[Thomas Reiter after leaving the Mir Station for his first space walk on Friday October 20th, '95 (flight day 48)]
Though not a first for Europe, this was the first space sortie by an ESA astronaut (Jean-Loup Chretien of the French national space agency, CNES, had already taken a spacewalk outside Mir, back in 1988).
The two space walkers, Avdeyev and Reiter, exited the station through the airlock hatch in the KVANT-2 module at 12:55 CET. Thomas was almost overwhelmed by the impression of the free space. He said a few sentences in English to document this remarkable event. The two crew members then moved over to the SPEKTR module of the station, where the ESEF facility is located. Four experiment cassettes were installed on the facility and tested before the two workers left the site to "walk" to a site with Russian experiments, where they had to exchange some experiment cassettes. Sergei had a small video camcorder mounted to his belly which took breathtaking pictures, played back to us after they had returned to the interior of the station at 18:06 CET. The crew was always ahead of their schedule and while rest periods had been planned for them during the shadow phases (which occur once on every orbit), they worked and acted almost all the time -- the full moon gave them enough light to see.
Asked how they feel by ground personnel after they had returned, they replied they feel just fine -- the only one that's tired would be Yuri (Gidzhenko, the crew commander who remained inside, chasing around the station to support them. The crew is in a very good mood and in excellent condition and looking forward to "meeting" their families on Saturday and of course will need their "free" weekend.
Thomas was a "guest" in the ministerial conference at Toulouse, France, deciding about the future of Europe's Manned Space Flight - Involvement in Space Station Alpha. He addressed the Ministers and spoke with them and a press team. The conference participants have decided to participate in the Space Station program. Needless to say, we are all very happy about that.
Spin Control: Recent production delays at the booster plant that builds the Soyuz rockets have forced the launch delay of the Mir-21 crew and nobody wants to pay the overtime work required to meet the original launch date of January 16, '96, yet nobody wants to say that. ESA released this statement: ESA Astronaut Thomas Reiter, on board the space station Mir since 5 September 1995 for ESA's EUROMIR 95 mission, might have his record- breaking stay of 135 days extended by another 44 days. ESA and Russia are currently negotiating this extension which would serve the interest of both partners. For Russia, it would optimize the use of onboard resources, while it would enable ESA at the same time to intensify and enlarge the scientific program of EUROMIR 95. A final decision about the extension is expected for the end of this month. (October)
To clarify some points related to the extension:
The mission extension has been a possibility for some time, and was discussed with Thomas Reiter before launch.
The current crew will return to Earth in the SOYUZ capsule in which they were launched. This can be done at any time. For instance, in an emergency, immediate evacuation of the Mir station is possible.
Upload of equipment and consumables to Mir is planned with a Progress capsule in December '95.
The extension to the science program is under investigation, and the upload of additional equipment and consumables to support this program on the December Progress flight is one of the topics of discussion to be held in Moscow next week.
- (end of ESA Statement) BH
Contents of this issue of Moon Miners' Manifesto